Abstract

Optical properties of Nuclepore filter media, as used in the integrating plate (IP) method for determination of aerosol light absorption, have been examined. It has been shown that the internal reflectance is high for the Nuclepore filters typically used and that changes in this value result in spurious contributions to absorption measurements. It has been found that aerosol particles on the filter surface can substantially alter the internal reflection coefficient of this material for a wide variety of aerosol types. The amount and nature of this change are found to vary with optical and physical properties of the aerosol in contact with the filter surface. A simple mathematical model of the optical system is described that allows for variations in Nuclepore internal reflectance. Implications of this model and data suggest that light absorption measurements as determined via the IP method may be systematically overestimated for certain samples by as much as 30%. Estimates of the magnitude of this inaccuracy for a given IP absorption measurement are presented based on the model and supplementary back reflectance measurements.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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